Author's Notes:

Well, here it is, my first work, the big kahuna… It's a Halo fanfiction, and if you don't like it, I make no apologies. And if you do like it, be glad that the Halo franchise belongs to Bungie and Microsoft, or I would be charging you for every second of enjoyment that you get from this.

And, I'd be stinking rich.

I rated this story MA 15 because of the content. There will be blood, guts, horror, violence, death, language, nudity, and heavy sexual references, and by this, I mean everything short of actual intercourse (this will be implied, in a very succinct manner). I'm an author, not a smut peddler. So, if that is your sort of thing, I suggest you go elsewhere.

"Name, soldier?" A voice demanded from behind a sealed blast door, as thick and tarnished as the Titanium-A alloy that made it so inpenetrable.

The Covenant had torn through the area recently, obliterating all they saw, and the bastards could still be outside for all that Brigadier Zenglehart knew. He wasn't letting anyone in without verbal, visual, password, and retinal identification. Those Bravo Kilo murderers weren't getting in, not with wounded and a limited supply of ammunition.

"This is Matthias-257, requesting entry." He bought a hand over his visor, a weary gesture. Such a show of emotion was unusual for a Spartan. It was a bad habit, one that made it easy for him to be differentiated from his brothers and sisters. Not that it was hard to do so already. Unlike the others, proudly, foolishly, wearing their inferior SPI armour to their deaths, he had chosen to… requisition, grave robbing was such an ugly term, the MJOLNIR armour of one of his predecessors.

A mighty Spartan II, killed by the Loyalists. They weren't meant to die, they couldn't die. They were all a lie. Propaganda, fallacies. Spartans never died. The truth was that they weren't allowed to. Their bodies rotted, burnt, stagnated. But their memories remained, abused by the military, allowed never to rest. For that was their purpose.

Matthias had no illusions about his purpose, knew perfectly what it was. Unlike Spartan II's, he was disposable, meant to die in the name of mankind. This purpose suited him perfectly. One aspect of it, anyway. He would fight to protect his fellow man, he would pull apart anything that stood in his way, and he was more than willing to die to save just one person. But he wasn't going to throw his life away for nothing.

He had friends, unlike the others, friends outside of the Spartan program. Yes, the Spartans were the heroes, the last chance that mankind had of defeating the Covenant, but he knew that they were freaks, revered and despised in equal measure. They were made to be heroes, not born to be.

And this hero was starting to lose his patience.

"A Spartan? Santa must have lost his naughty list or something, because Christmas is coming early this year… Come in, soldier." Zenglehart threw the switch on the other side of the door, after all identification procedures had been completed, and smiled. Perhaps there was hope, after all. That smile grew even wider as a United Nation Space Command Spartan walked through the door, fully armoured in MJOLNIR Mk IV Scout Armour, a Battle Rifle at the ready and a Sniper Rifle sealed magnetically to his back.

The smile that had grown so wide across his face evaporated entirely as twelve Elites, eleven wearing Assault armour, the other a Commando, followed the Spartan through.

He reeled back in horror, and hit an emergency switch on the wall behind him, before bringing his Magnum to bear. He had been betrayed, and by a Spartan, no less.

The sound of metal clanking against metal echoed down the hall as twelve Orbital Drop Shock Troopers, ODSTs, ran into the room, weapons at the ready. Matthias quickly assessed the situation. Twelve on thirteen. It would have been an even fight, had it not been man against monster. The biggest threats in the room were two of the ODSTs, one of whom was armed with a Rocket Launcher, and who stood as far away from the rest of the men as he could. The other held two Mauler shotguns.

Beneath his helmet, Matthias smiled; pillaging the corpses of those filthy apes. Human nature was still thriving, as the Earth was torn apart. Even so, however, the Elites would easily win this fight. Had Matthias wanted to fight the marines. No; as flawed as he and the rest of mankind were, they were alive, and he intended to keep it that way.

The Elite to the left of him gave him a quizzical glance. They had all known that there would be a misunderstanding, but this was one that could not be solved through violence. The pen, sometimes, was indeed mightier than the sword.

Matthias stepped forward, and spoke to the commanding officer; though there had been no salutes given, the ODSTs were all crowded around one person. Matthias knew that he, the one they all so eagerly protected, was Brigadier Zenglehart, the one he had come here to retrieve.

"Order your soldiers to lower their weapons. Had I wanted to kill you, you would have been dead long ago."

"And how would you have done that, traitor?" Zenglehart spoke, more of a statement than a question.

The Spartan was of course, right, he realised almost instantly. Had he betrayed them to the Elites, they would merely have activated their camouflage and torn the soldiers apart unnoticed. Why then, had they not?

Matthias smiled again, quite well aware that no one could see him doing so. He explained himself, carefully.

"Circumstances change, Brigadier, and with them, allegiances. The Elites are with us now; you can probably tell because you aren't short a head." The Spartan gestured to the Elites, each of whom had an energy sword at their hips.

One of the Elites wearing Assault Armour stepped forward and balled his right hand into a fist. "The Covenant is but a lie, human, and we are ashamed that it took us so long to see it as such. The Brutes have betrayed us at the insistence of the Prophets; they slaughter our brothers wherever they do get the chance, all the while listening blindly to empty promises of salvation, when all that awaits them is ruin."

Zenglehart raised his right eyebrow. The Elites, refuting the Covenant? Not even at the barrel of a rifle would they do so, unless…

"I see, Spartan, that you have convinced the Elites to tread the true road to salvation." He wasn't entirely convinced of his own words, but it was all the explanation he could think up.

"They found that out themselves, sir. The Arbiter is a wise leader, for it was he who led the Elites down their new path."

Now Zenglehart knew, for once, what had happened. This Arbiter, apparently a disgraced Elite who wore strange ceremonial armour, had joined the Master Chief in his fight against the Covenant. If he was their leader, then the Elites would follow him to hell and back.

"Well," he signalled; the ODSTs lowered their weapons immediately. "What the hell are you doing here, soldier? You should meet up with the fleet; get yourself ready for the assault on the ship that that bastard Prophet is cowering in." The Brigadier leant against the wall and stroked his Magnum gently; he had kept this weapon for seventeen years, ever since it had first drawn Covenant blood. It was his constant companion.

He smiled as an Elite gave him a confused glance. These humans treated tools as though they were live animals… perhaps that it why, so often, they survived even the most brutal conditions.

Matthias cocked his head before taking a step towards the marines. "Sir, we've come to retrieve you; I am correct in believing that you are the shipmaster of the UNSC Aurora Storm?" He questioned, not quite sure whether his information was correct.

"Yes, son, indeed I am," Brigadier Zenglehart sighed wearily, before turning to look at his ODSTs. "I suppose you have bad news of some sort for me?"

"Yes sir… the Covenant had bad info the last time they attacked. They thought they were merely to disable your Longswords and Pelicans to prevent you from providing air support; seems your pilots have been giving the Bravo Kilos some trouble with their Scarabs." Matthias paused as he saw the Brigadier smile.

He should be happy; his crazy bastard pilots had taken down two Scarabs alone and dropped two squads of ODSTs onto another. ONI tech was already dissecting it, and it looked like the new technology they had found within would have many applications, all of them very useful.

"The problem is, sir, now the Bravo Kilos know who, and more importantly, where you are. I need to get you back to your ship, before they get you into their kitchen. I have orders from the top, so don't think you can tell me otherwise."

"I appreciate the concern, son," Zenglehart looked back towards the Spartan. "But I am not prepared to leave my men here to die at the hands of those bloodthirsty apes." He spoke with cold finality in his voice.

"You great fatheaded Jackass! Did you think that UNSC High Command would really leave a total of two-hundred and thirty-one valuable men and women behind? Even if most are wounded, they will soon be on their feet, with a little treatment." Another voice chastised. The Brigadier turned, to see a holographic image sitting on the shoulder of the Spartan's MJOLNIR armour. An AI.

"Shut up, Loki!" Matthias warned, and the AI turned to face him, his sleek, silken hair swaying as he did.

"You know what, Matthias? You suck. I hack into the defence mainframe for a little fun, and you fly right off the bat. If they didn't want to be hacked, they should've made their defence tighter. The irony."

Just as the AI made his little declaration, a blast from a beam rifle flew through the doorway and cut through the energy shield of one of the Elites, who promptly rolled into cover while this protection regenerated.

The Elites activated their active camouflage and faded from view, though their movement still was still visible on the motion tracker. Outside the door, perhaps a hundred meters away, there was a Jackal, made all the more visible by its glowing telescopic eyepiece.

Matthias turned faster than the eye could see, pulled out his sniper rifle, and lined up his target. Under a second passed, then he applied pressure to the trigger. A loud crack echoed down the hall. In the distance, the Jackal's head exploded, throwing ribbons of brain material over a stunted tree like some sort of macabre Christmas offering.

"Excellent shot, human," The commando commended, impressed. "Why we never recognised the talent of your species before now is monument to our foolishness.

"Your applause is noted, 'Xanthtuum." The Spartan acknowledged the praise with a nod, turned to the Brigadier, who sighed.

"You let those bastards have even one of my men without reason, and it'll be your head."

"I wouldn't expect anything less, sir." A Phantom Dropship appeared out of nowhere, a giant beetle hanging in the sun, carapace glinting malevolently, purple fire burning as its plasma turrets blazed. Another Phantom, this one sporting the purple colouration of a Loyalist ship, flared azure, brighter than the sky itself, then exploded, wreckage hailing down upon a wrecked Warthog.

Brigadier Zenglehart left then, escorted from the bunker and into the dropship by six ODSTs and three of the Elites. Those who chose to remain spread their mandibles, though, like the smile hidden behind Matthias helmet, this was not visible to any observer, and roared defiantly as the dropship flew into the atmosphere.

They were going to tear those mongrel apes limb from limb.

Then, true happiness. The smile across the Spartan's face grew even wider; He had just found a Model 6 Grindell/Galilean Nonlinear Rifle, a Spartan Laser, hooked to a wall charger. Behind him, Loki sealed the door shut, a Seraph fighter taking a strafing run towards the bunker.

But even sixty centimetres of Titanium-A reinforced cement wouldn't hold out forever. He ran down the passage and into an elevator, followed by the remaining Elites and ODSTs. One of the men, Higgins, according to the service tag printed across his pauldrons, pressed the basement key as the bunker shook with the blast of the first plasma charge. The elevator sped towards the bottom floor of the bunker at an alarming speed, the roof collapsing above them.

Higgins also had O negative blood. Matthias noted that, in case there was ever any need of a transfusion.

There was a thud; they had arrived at the bottom floor just in time to see a Brute send a female marine flying with a punch. She was still alive, surprisingly she was nearly unharmed, but still, Matthias was not amused.

"Didn't your mother teach you how to treat women properly?" He taunted. The Brute turned, and roared, strings of vile yellow saliva flying from its mouth and onto his visor.

One of the ODSTs took this opportunity to run out and drape the woman over his shoulder.

"Man, she's hot. Feel those curves!" He exclaimed as he felt her breasts pressed against the side of his face.

"I'm alive, you jackass!" She yelled indignantly before groaning in pain. She was physically unharmed, but would hurt for a while, nonetheless. Matthias kicked himself for forgetting that normal humans were much less resistant to pain than he was.

"Yes, but not for long, scum." The Brute turned slightly, and snarled angrily as Matthias greeted him with a burst from his battle rifle. The three-round report cut through his power armour and left a wound in his chest. However, if the Brute was injured, he wasn't showing it. "Pathetic human, even with your armour, I will tear you apart." He growled defiantly, his cruel face distorted with what appeared to be a smile. Then, nine energy swords appeared from the air before him, each blade emitting a static hiss as it took form.

The smile disappeared.

"Come on," Smiled Matthias. "Let's turn that frown upside down…"

"…Or, more accurately, that vile head." 'Xanthtuum added as he drew another energy sword with his left hand. The Brute reached for his spiker carbine, but was far too slow; the Elite lunged forwards and cut off both legs with one sword before stabbing him through the heart with the other.

Letting a grunt of contempt pass his mandibles, he leant forward and grabbed the dying creature around the throat.

The Brute groaned in pain as the Commando pulled it towards him, his Energy Sword sliding deeper into its chest for every centimetre that it moved forward.

"Is it not," 'Xanthtuum spat into the simian monsters face, "such a lovely day to face extinction?"

My mind presents...

Journey of an Apostle

A Halo story

Written by Kieren P. McGovern (AKA Untractable Evocation, or Loki, or Fedaykin Guard).

With thanks to Corey W. Smith (Cylor), The Phiend, and Shawn L. Phillips for their help.

The Halo universe and all characters depicted therein, apart from those of my own creation, are the intellectual property of Bungie Studios, with special license to Microsoft. The (original) characters and situations depicted within this fanfiction are MY intellectual property, and use of these characters without my expressed permission will result in serious action.